Testing the Sennheiser GSP 350 served as a great reminder to never judge a product by its packaging. The unremarkable exterior hides some truly remarkable tech. The design is old-fashioned and the headset looks ugly compared to most contemporary gaming peripherals, but the audio performance completely obliterates competing headsets in this price range. Retailing at $139.95, I expected sound quality in the same ballpark as the Sound BlasterX H7 or the HyperX CloudX Pro—two headsets I genuinely enjoyed when I reviewed them a while ago. However, the Sennheiser GSP 350 is in another league of its own compared to these models, and the stark contrast between how the GSP 350 looks and sounds is almost comical.
Audio gear manufacturers have really stepped up their game when it comes to build quality over the last few years, including Sennheiser’s very own product lineup, so I was somewhat surprised to unbox the GSP 350 and find a product that looks stuck in time. Reminiscent of gaming gear from the mid 2000’s, the GSP 350 makes an unusual first impression. Completely wrapped in plastic, the headset feels cheap and unimpressive. The general construction is sturdy and the headset can handle plenty intense gaming sessions, but don’t expect premium materials just because the device carries Sennheiser’s logo. It also doesn’t help that the mic is a hideous monstrosity that can’t be detached, but more on that later.
"Ok, so looks aren’t a priority here, but don’t make the mistake and assume the interior complements the exterior. The GSP 350 is a beast!"
Thankfully, the GSP 350 is irresistibly cozy and light, and I can easily game for hours without experiencing any heat generation or discomfort. The leathery earcups are large and conveniently frame my ears. There is enough breathing room between the drivers and my ears when wearing the headset, and I appreciate the matte surface that keeps the headset looking clean.
Ok, so looks aren’t a priority here, but don’t make the mistake and assume the interior complements the exterior. The GSP 350 is a beast! It’s like a muscle car that roars with its thunderous drivers as soon as you turn up the volume. I can’t remember the last time I was so pleasantly shocked by a product!
"The spatial audio positioning is excellent here, and there is no doubt that competitive gamers will benefit greatly from using the Dolby feature."
My first match in Titanfall 2 felt exhilarating. Explosions delivered a satisfying crunch and thud that could be felt in my chest. Best of all, mids remained crisp and sharp no matter how strongly the lows fluctuated. I was especially curious to engage surround sound after testing the phenomenal GSX 1200 Pro, and I couldn’t believe how well the surround tech in the GSP 350 performed in comparison to Sennheiser’s notably pricier amp. The spatial audio positioning is excellent here, and there is no doubt that competitive gamers will benefit greatly from using the Dolby feature.
My major gripe with the sound would have to be the occasionally strong reverb effect. Voices can echo in certain games and it’s a stark contrast to the otherwise clean and accurate audio performance. Thankfully, this is only an occasional annoyance and never really interferes with the gaming experience.
"Sennheiser’s virtual surround sound tech continues to dominate the industry, and the excellent performance makes it an extremely attractive option at only $139.95."
The massive mic, while certainly an eye sore, also works exceptionally well. Chatting with my fellow gamers was crisp and clear with very little background noise. I wish there was a way to detach the mic when not in use, because it’s huge and looks ridiculous when tilted to the side.
To get the headset’s full functionality, you’ll need Sennheiser’s software that lets users personalize their setup. Equalizer, Noise Reduction and Sidetone are the only external functions, whereas the Dolby feature can be activated via the GSP 350’s dongle. The Equalizer presets aren’t very useful as they severely skew the frequencies, especially the awful Esports setting. The best results are achieved with all EQ presets set to off.
Conclusion: If you can get past the headset’s questionable aesthetics, the Sennheiser GSP 350 is an excellent choice for competitive gaming. Sennheiser’s virtual surround sound tech continues to dominate the industry, and the excellent performance makes it an extremely attractive option at only $139.95.
Final Score: B+